In the last couple of years, a shipping container housing development has popped up in Bristol, England and it’s transformed the city’s homeless housing issue (and population). Army veteran and restaurateur Jasper Thompson started the charity, Help Bristol’s Homeless, in 2017.
“The company is determined in its mission to transform the lives of the homeless by providing housing for those sleeping rough, something which it points out is not an entitlement, ‘it is a right’.
Per the company website: “Unlike many homeless charities, our ethos is that housing must come first, and then everything else comes after. Many complex factors can lead to homelessness, and while it is true that these issues need to be resolved to keep people off the street, we believe that the priority must be to get people into safe, stable and comfortable accommodation. From there, we can help them to improve their own lives and reach their potential.”1
The container homes have a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, and are available to someone for an entire year; enough time to get a job and start saving. The container park is alcohol and drug-free and the homes may not be smoked in.
Thompson says that those who are assigned a home are referred following an assessment and are given ongoing support as part of the initiative, “They are also given opportunities to develop skills by helping in the conversion of the containers into homes.”1